Amtrak Will Make Stations More Accessible to Disabled Passengers

James R. Hood
James R. Hood

“All aboard Amtrak” sounds good if you’re actually able to get through the train station safely. That’s a particular challenge for people with mobility disabilities. But things may be getting better; Amtrak has agreed to fix mobility issues at 78 of its stations and pay more than $2 million in damages to consumers affected by the shortcomings. The stations are listed below.

Amtrak today began accepting claims from passengers who encountered accessibility issues. Claims must be submitted by May 29, 2021, under an agreement between Amtrak and the U.S. Justice Department. Under the agreement, Amtrak will fix inaccessible stations and pay $2.25 million to victims hurt by inaccessibility at the 78 stations.

To be eligible for monetary compensation, an individual must:

  • Have a mobility disability;
  • Be harmed physically or emotionally because of accessibility issues, including, for example, inaccessible parking; steep slopes or steps to get to the station; lack of directional signs; toilet rooms with inaccessible entrances, stalls, or sinks; high ticket counters; deteriorated platforms; and narrow routes at stations, at one or more the stations listed below between July 27, 2013, and Dec. 2, 2020;
  • Have lived at, visited, or desired to visit a place closer to one or more of the stations listed below than an accessible, alternative Amtrak station; and
  • Submit a claim form and declaration by mail, fax, email or online to the claims administrator by no later than May 29, 2021.  Help is available from the settlement administrator for those who are unable to complete the claim form due to a disability.

Questions about making claims should be directed to the settlement administrator by any of the following methods:

Under the agreement, Amtrak has committed to make its intercity rail stations accessible, as required by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Over the next 10 years, Amtrak will design at least 135 stations to be accessible, complete construction at 90 of those stations, and have at least 45 more under construction.  

Amtrak also agreed to train staff on ADA requirements and implement an agreed-upon process for accepting and handling ADA complaints.  

The 78 stations are:

James R. Hood

Jim is a publishing entrepreneur and journalist. He founded ConsumerAffairs in 1998 and earlier was the founder of Zapnews, after holding executive posts at the Associated Press.